Composing in Hotels…

…is fantastic, isn’t it? I don’t think there’s been any part of this trip I’ve looked forward to more than just hiding away in some cubbyhole where no one knows how to reach me, and composing my pointy little head off. The phone doesn’t ring, no one stops by, people start to assume you’re unreachable, there’s no refrigerator full of tempting food, there’s not even anything on the walls worth looking at, and if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language, even the idea of trying to run out and do errands is pretty disinviting. It’s like sensory deprivation, only comfortable. Even back home, I’ve often threatened to go check into a hotel so I can get some work done. And I’m not in a hotel but a short-term apartment, which is even better. There’s no front desk, no maid trying to come in. I have a little kitchen, and a considerable economic incentive to avoid expensive restaurants and eat at home. My only connection to the outside world is this internet cable, and if you need a favor from me, uh, oh yeah, sorry, the blasted internet doesn’t work well here, I didn’t get your message. You’ll never find my phone number here, never. And if I may bring up Kierkegaard again, the Dane had a motto I have always admired: Bene vixit qui bene latuit – “He has lived well who has remained well hidden.”


  1. says

    Yep. Did that once in California, wrote it on paper and then entered it on the computer when I got home. Nice…my manuscript paper, pen, ruler and a sunburn.

  2. says

    I’m jealous, Kyle—you can compose without a keyboard then?
    KG replies: Well, if I’m writing something that includes piano, I like to work at the piano, but otherwise I don’t use it. When composing microtonally, I need something that has the pitches on it, but Sibelius + Quicktime or Kontakt usually does the trick.

  3. says

    I get great work done on airplanes for similar reasons. Plus there’s something about not being able to get up and move around very easily (or anywhere interesting to go once you’ve already trekked to the bathroom once or twice). Strangely, the noise of the plane doesn’t bother me, especially after popping in some earplugs. Not quite as idyllic as a european garret hideaway, but I’ll take what I can get.
    KG replies: And I got some Skullcandy brand noise-canceling headphones that do an amazing job of canceling out the airplane noise. They really changed the way I work on planes. It’s like being at home, only without elbow room.